Malaysia 1 Ringgit Ali Abul Hassan Side/Vertical Signature ??


Fake AAH Signature on the side/vertical on 1 Ringgit note
Fake AAH Signature on the side/vertical on 1 Ringgit note 
Almost all of Malaysian banknote collectors know that there is only one version of the 1 Ringgit Ali Abul Hassan (commonly referred to as AAH) signed notes i.e. the one with the signature is a center of the obverse and the only prefix for this is none other than the famous "CR" prefix.

Then one fine day, someone showed me the much-talked-about but never seen side/vertically signed note, which is quite interesting because my good friend LUNATICG happen to mention that in his blog article titled "Top 10 Myths in Malaysian Numismatics". This "phantom" piece is listed at item #4. The most astonishing part is that someone allegedly paid RM15,000 (about USD4,000) for that piece. However, there were no photos of that piece shown in the article.

Now I am not at all sure if this piece that appeared before me is that very same piece or if it is even produced by the same "counterfeiter"* (a special heartfelt thanks to Eryclunk Numismatic (FB name) for showing me this); but it is far too interesting to let it go without taking a closer look at it!

* Technically speaking this is not a counterfeit because the banknote itself it genuine. It is an "alteration" made to it so that it will fetch a higher market value. 


As you know, the first set of side/vertically signed banknotes by AAH, who was the 6th Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia was issued in 1999, classified by KN Boon as the 9th Series, The center signed notes came later as the 10th series, within the same year. The denominations for side signed series include the 2, 10, 50 and 100 Ringgit notes only, 1 and 5 Ringgit versions were not issued at all, reasons unknown. If you have any rumors or theories to this, please email us at help@alphanumis.com.

Anyhow the side signed series appeared for only a very short time and coupled with one of the shortest stint by any Governor, they are considered to be a rarity by collectors.

Now it is noteworthy that AAH side sign is NOT the first series with signatures at that location of the banknote. The preceding series signed by Ahmad bin Mohd Don started the trend back in 1996, also for 2, 10, 50 and 100 Ringgit notes.

Back to our main story : 1 Ringgit AAH side sign is NOT SUPPOSE TO EXIST.

Here it is :

Fig 1 : RM1 Ali ABul Hassan with signature at the left side - a fake!
Fig 1 : RM1 Ali ABul Hassan with signature at the left side - a fake! 

Fig 2. : The reverse of the same note, notice the prefix? It is AFW and 3 letter prefix are not suppose to appear until 2010 !!
Fig 2. : The reverse of the same note, notice the prefix? It is AFW and 3 letter prefix are not suppose to appear until 2010 !!

At a glance the signature looks real enough. But if you see the reverse, the prefix is AFW !!! The 3 letter prefix for 1 Ringgit notes did not appear until 2010. Mind you, AAH was in office from 1 September 1998 to 30 April 2000. This is a dead giveaway and it pays to know your numismatic history!

Now back to the obverse, you can't see very much under a normal 5X magnifier and we used a USB microscope to blow up to 50X. Here's what it looks like :

Fig 3 : The fake AAH "Aishah" Signature
Fig 3 : Fake AAH "Aishah" Signature at 50X

This is a close up of the "A" in the signature, looks flat, no intaglio features :

Fig 4 : Close up of the fake AAH "Aishah" Signature
Fig 4 : Close up of the fake AAH "Aishah" Signature

Here is the close up of the "GABENOR", looks fuzzy/unclear, resolution is bad  :

Fig 5 : Close up of the fake AAH "GABENOR"
Fig 5 : Close up of the fake "GABENOR", flat and fuzzy at 50X
Now let's compare with original signatures, this is an example of RM1 Zeti signature:

Fig 6 : Zeti Signature & "GABENOR" under 50X magnification. Note the solid ink and intaglio. 

Now if you haven't noticed, the area around the center of fake note has some light scrubbing and damage. And it would seem that some one has used an eraser or something like that to remove the original signature which was suppose to be current governor Zeti's signature.

Fig 7. Looks like the original signature has been erased!
Fig 7. Looks like the original signature has been erased! 
 Here are 2 pictures in comparison, the top picture is the fake note and the bottom is a genuine.

Fig 8 : Fake note with the original Zeti signature erased

Fig 9 : A genuine note with Zeti signature intact
A picture paints a thousand words they say. So I will let the photos do the talking.

As for the fake piece - it seem like the side/vertical signature was printed onto a genuine note with an inkjet printer and the original signature was quite crudely removed, which is a very obvious tell tale sign.

So if you collectors out there are buying anything expensive, please look properly before you pay.

And in the mean time - HAPPY COLLECTING !!










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